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Old 08-22-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Bitter aftertaste: recipe or execution?

I have a batch of oatmeal stout that's great up front, but has a bit of an acrid, bitter finish. It definitely doesn't taste like hop bitterness. If it's a problem with my recipe, I'd like to correct it before the next time I brew a batch of it. However, I had so much trouble with it on brew day that I think my process could also be to blame.

I made the mistake of not using rice hulls. When the mash finished and I tried to drain it, I couldn't get a drop out of the tun. I hadn't noticed at the time, but my false bottom was slightly askew when I mashed in. I ended up with about a cup and a half of grain under the false bottom. On top of that, the oats turned the whole mash into a giant plug. I ended up scooping the thicker portions out into a bucket while using my sparge water to try to thin it out enough to get something flowing. That didn't work, so I ended up pulling dumping everything into buckets, cleaning my mash tun completely, and adding everything back in slowly from thinnest to thickest. Even then, I had the mix up the mash periodically to keep the wort flowing. I never did a proper sparge, but the mash sat in the hot sparge water for quite some time while I did battle with the tun. All told, it was about 3 1/2 hours from when my mash timer went off until I had all the wort in the kettle. I'm thinking that the dark grains being in hot water for so long may explain the bitter aftertaste, but I also had quite a bit of dark grains in my recipe, so I wanted to bounce it off some of the more experienced folks.

My recipe was:
5lbs Muntons 2-row
3lbs 4oz Maris Otter
2lbs 10oz Quick Oats
1lbs Crystal 80
1lbs Victory malt
12oz British Chocolate malt
5oz Black patent malt
4oz Roasted Barley

1oz Northdown (7.2%AA) @ 60
1oz Crystal (4.1%AA) @ 10


Mashed for 90 min at 153

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:03 AM   #2
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I guess it could be from the Black patent but 5oz. really doesn't see all that much. In the future, if using it just for color, you could use the dehusked Carafa III, get the color without any astringency.
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